Robert Triggs / Android Authority
⚡ Welcome to The Weekly Authority, the Android Authority newsletter that breaks down the top Android and tech news from the week. The 220th edition here, with Google Pixel 8 leaks, continuing Twitter drama, incoming Stadia refunds, and more…
👀 It’s great to be back from a relaxing break! This week, I was worried about a family member after they received what we thought was a scam email posing as Amazon, clicked on a link in it, and entered their credit card details. It turned out to be a false alarm, but it reminded me how important it is to protect yourself online. On that note, have you heard of Incogni, the sponsor of this week’s newsletter?
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Popular news this week
Adamya Sharma / Android Authority
- First apparent leaks of the Pixel 8 series show codenames, some expected specs.
- Meanwhile, Google confirms Pixel Watch bug that counts calories in Fitbit app inaccurately: It’s a software glitch, apparently.
- Google reveals Black Friday deals, including Pixel 6a for $300. Which reminds us, have you checked out the best early Black Friday deals yet?
- Sign up now: Google’s new Chrome OS Beta Tester Hub is now open to the public.
- And the Google Home app public preview is live. Here’s how you can sign up.
- Google One is the next app to get redesigned ahead of the Pixel Tablet launch
- Still using the old Gmail? Your time is up.
- Also: YouTube Music and Premium subscriber count grew to 80 million in past year: That figure includes subscribers worldwide, plus subscription “trialers.”
- Hacker discovers lock screen bypass bug that affects all Google Pixels — don’t worry, the problem was fixed in November’s security update.
- Apple will be shipping fewer iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max phones than anticipated due to COVID-19 restrictions in China that have “significantly reduced” manufacturing output, meaning longer wait times for consumers.
- Apple wants to change the “Hey Siri” trigger command to just “Siri,” rolling out next year or in 2024.
- And a Chinese YouTuber built their own foldable iPhone, complete with working iOS software.
- About turn: After laying off almost 50% of the company, Twitter asks fired workers to please come back.
- Elon Musk has discussed ideas such as putting the entirety of Twitter behind a paywall, or allowing everyone to use the site for a limited time each month, after which a subscription would be required.
- Earlier this week, we reported that Twitter will soon have two checkmarks. Hours after rollout, Elon Musk nixed the new feature, but some accounts are still showing the checkmark regardless.
- Wow: Some Twitter users say their blocks on Musk’s account were lifted without their consent.
- The end of remote work, subscriptions, and more: Read Musk’s first email to all Twitter employees.
- Meta confirms 11,000 layoffs, amounting to 13% of its workforce.
- NASA’s Artemis I mission is back on the launchpad following a series of delays: Next attempt is scheduled for Monday, November 14.
- Astronomers discover closest known black hole to Earth, but there might be even nearer ones yet to be detected.
- And NASA launched an inflatable flying saucer, then landed it in the ocean — LOFTID could be used to put people safely on Mars.
- HBO has canceled Westworld after four seasons, citing wanting viewership and high production costs.
- November 6 was Stranger Things day, and Netflix announced the official title for season 5, episode one: The Crawl, sparking speculation.
- We’ve got the best new TV shows to stream this week, including Amazon Prime’s UK dramedy Mammals.
- And if you’re thinking of signing up to Apple TV Plus, we’ve picked the 23 Apple TV Plus shows you should watch first.
- We’ve also got the best new streaming movies, like sci-fi horror Slash/Back and Netflix original Falling for Christmas.
- Speaking of movies, if you’re looking for free titles to watch, check out our roundup of the best websites to legally watch free movies online.
- John Wick: Chapter 4 is coming soon, and the trailer sees Keanu Reeves fighting Donnie Yen.
- Disney Plus announces price hikes, ad-supported plan coming next month.
- And 40 percent of US Disney Plus subscribers picked the bundle with ESPN Plus and Hulu.
- Woop! Google has started rolling out refunds for Stadia, though no refunds on Stadia Pro subscription fees or Google’s Power Support Claw.
- Microsoft admits Xbox vs PlayStation war is over.
- Meanwhile, European Union opens “in-depth” investigation into Microsoft’s purchase of Activision Blizzard.
- The Xbox Series X could be getting new graphics modes that can save you money: lower your in-game framerates and resolutions to save on your energy bill.
- God of War Ragnarok released Wednesday, and Kotaku’s got 23 tips before you play. Plus, here’s how the game made accessibility a core part of its design.
- A Gears of War live-action movie and animated series are in the works at Netflix.
- Speaking of, Netflix confirms a Stranger Things VR game is coming in late 2023, where you can play as Season 4’s villain, Vecna.
- Diablo 4 will allegedly launch in April 2023, with pre-orders reportedly opening next month.
- Sounds like sci-fi: Oculus creator makes virtual reality headset that intentionally kills people.
- Rogue Legacy 2, Venba, and more: Here’s everything you missed in Nintendo’s latest Indie World Showcase.
Oliver Cragg / Android Authority
- Xiaomi Smart Band 7 Pro review: The Mi Band grows up — “A super-sized version of an already fantastic budget fitness tracker” (Android Authority).
- Apple iPad (10th generation) review: Mixed emotions — “It turns out that looks really aren’t everything” (Android Authority).
- TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS review — “It’s a good fitness-tracking smartwatch with a long battery life and great display. It should be even better when it gets upgraded to Wear OS 3” (Tom’s Guide).
- Astro A30 Wireless review — “It’s well-built, looks fetching, and offers superb levels of both comfort and passive noise isolation. The audio here is energetic and well-rounded, and it comes with good separation too. A £230 price means it isn’t for everyone, though” (Trusted Reviews).
C. Scott Brown / Android Authority
- Pixel’s on-device voice typing is game-changing, so why can’t everyone have it? “Voice typing on the Pixel 6 and 7 is a universally better experience than on any other Android phone” (Android Authority).
- 3 things the Pixel Watch does better and worse than the Galaxy Watch 5: “Which Wear OS device is the best fit for your wrist?” (Android Authority).
- How to prepare for the end of card payments: “Cash is safe — for now. Contactless payment methods, like Apple Pay or Google Wallet, are more of a threat to the existence of physical cards” (Wired).
- What is Google Nest? Everything you need to know: From products to subscriptions and more (Android Authority).
- The most vulnerable place on the internet: “Underwater cables keep the internet online. When they congregate in one place, things get tricky” (Wired).
YouTube / Fujitsu Ltd.
We’re all used to accessibility features on our smartphones and computers, such as the Android Accessibility Suite — and there are plenty of accessibility apps for Android too. But a train station in Japan has implemented one of the most fun accessibility features ever.
- Ueno Station in Tokyo can be, like most stations in the city, a packed, chaotic place.
- Commuting through the station can be daunting, particularly for differently-abled people such as members of the deaf and hearing-impaired community.
- A team of AI-experienced developers at Fujitsu came up with a fun visual way to help hearing-impaired and deaf people navigate the station and feel safer: Ekimatopeia.
- The word comes from the Japanese word for station, “Eki,” and syllables from the English language word, “onomatopeia,” meaning “a word that phonetically imitates, resembles, or suggests the sound that it describes.”
What is Ekimatopeia?
This video — in Japanese with English subtitles — explains exactly how Ekimatopeia works.
- A large screen display is posted on the boarding platform, and manga-style onomatopoeic sounds are displayed.
- These sounds actually represent what an AI picks up through a mic and are translated in real time.
- Different fonts are used to convey specific emotions.
- For example, ambient sounds like a train approaching the platform and slowing to a stop, a train speeding through the station, or the sound of an alarm or horn would all be represented visually by words on the screen.
- When a train approaches the platform, its clanking “gachan-gachan-gachan” sound would be displayed, along with visuals symbolizing a train.
- The idea for the project came from students at a school for deaf people who talked about the difficulties they faced commuting to school by train, with some commenting that it could be scary, as they didn’t always notice the train approaching.
- Ekimatopeia helps people to sense these sounds, with different fonts and colors making the station chaos a visual experience for deaf and hearing-impaired commuters.
- November 15-17: Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Summit
- November 18: The Dark Pictures: The Devil in Me launches on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, and PC
- November 22: Evil West releases on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, and PC
- November 25-28: Black Friday (and Cyber Monday) sales
- November 28-December 2: Amazon Reinvent
- December 2: The Callisto Protocol launches on PS4, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, and PC (not in Japan)
- January 5-8, 2023: CES 2023 (Las Vegas)
Tech Tweet of the Week
putting the “no” in november by declining every meeting invite
— The Hustle (@TheHustle) November 8, 2022
Something extra: Here’s where the internet’s best half-baked app ideas live on. A dating app based on your YouTube watch history, anyone?
Until next week,
Paula Beaton, Copy Editor.
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